Wes Anderson tends to divide people; you either love his films or you hate them. I fall in the love camp, primarily because of his meticulous set detail. If you want to step into that world, I gathered some products inspired by his latest release, The Grand Budapest Hotel. As usual, I was blown away by the world created by Anderson and his Oscar-nominated art director, Adam Stockhausen.
Stockhausen has said that he and Anderson looked to archival photochroms (colourized black-and-white photographs) from Eastern European hotels and buildings to get this colour-scheme. (If you're looking to add a touch of Anderson aesthetic to your home but aren't prepared to go all out, this type of photograph can be found at almost any antique or vintage store that sells ephemera. I picked up some vintage photochrom postcards of Versailles from a Toronto shop a few summers ago).
"The construction of the sets and the design of the sets, even if it's on location — this is all carefully planned," Anderson told NPR. There's always a very specific colour palette in Anderson films; The Darjeeling Limited had light blue, red, teal, orange and golden yellow; whereas Rushmore featured dark greens, burnt orange, beige and royal blue. The Grand Budapest Hotel follows this with olive green, baby blue, Cartier red, carnation pink, pale yellow and dark purple.
The hotel's dining room features a huge mural of mountains and rolling hills that has all of these tints. Murals are very on trend and can be found at a variety of price points. If you have a blockbuster budget, try de Gournay for gorgeous prints that harken back to Regency England. The above image, from Surface View and sourced from the British National Gallery, is a great inbetween example. Surface View allows for a bit of customization: you can search their catalogue and isolate parts of an image that you want for your walls. Anthropologie also sells murals but at a much lower cost (a bit better for a renter, like me).
Moving between three eras but primarily set in two, the 1960s and the 1930s, Anderson used an abandoned German department store from the 1910s as the hotel's interior. The '60s saw more of the olive from the palette, and the yellow was used in marbled walls and the shade of wood used in the era's popular paneling.
The Art Nouveau (Jugendstil in Germany) styling of the department store was given a more brutalist look that would have been found throughout Eastern Europe in the Post-War period. If you're drawn to the mid-century style furniture, try a DWR chair in a bold shade or a colour-blocked rug.
The hotel's heyday in the '30s begins with various vignettes that show off the interior and exterior based on the colours in the old photochroms. The lobby's high ceilings, intricate stairs and large chandeliers (Restoration Hardware has one that could be pulled right out of pre-war Europe) are set off by the pale yellow and carnation pink; giving the room the luxe feel typical of grand hotels of that era.
The Cartier-red used for the elevator's lacquered walls and the concierge desk convey complete opulence.
Stockhausen said that it took nine coats of the vermillion to get the look in each space, but painting out some shelving, or even a door with Farrow & Ball's Rectory Red would add a shot of Anderson's bold vision into your space.
Scenes set away from the hotel take place in a variety of locales, including the estate owned by Tilda Swinton's character. The mansion is dressed a bit like a hunting lodge: lots of wood, leather and animal heads.
Although more subdued and simple than the hotel and Swindon's estate, main character Agatha's (Saoirse Ronan) bedroom is curtained off with the same yellows and pinks found in the '30s hotel lobby, and her bedspread pairs the olive and yellow shades of the '60s lobby.
I particularly like the rustic barnboard flooring and wrought iron bed frame. I've had my eye on Anthropologie's Cosette Bed, which has a similar whimsical sensibility as Agatha's, and pulls in the Art Nouveau look of the hotel's lobby and entrance. Throw an HBC Millenium Stripe blanket or a Macausland throw on top and you've got a similar vibe.
The movie sets' extensive detail and saturated colour palette may be more fantastical than real, but sometimes it's nice to step into a highly-stylized space (and maybe borrow a few ideas for the real world).
See our photo gallery for more inspirational movie sets.
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fox Searchlight Pictures
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fox Searchlight Pictures
3. Bantam Armchair in Leather, DWR; Blue Block Rug, CB2
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fox Searchlight Pictures;19th C. French Empire Crystal Chandelier, Restoration Hardware
5. The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fox Searchlight Pictures
6. Rectory Red (217), Farrow & Ball
7. The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fox Searchlight Pictures
8. Papier Mâché Animal Sculptures, West Elm; Woods Wallpaper, Cole & Son
9. The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fox Searchlight Pictures
10. Cosette Bed, Antropologie; Macausland Throws, Drake General Store; Millenium Stripe Throw, The Hudson's Bay Company
House & Home took over the stage at the Interior Design Show in Toronto on Sunday, January 26 with a panel of style experts that included Lynda Reeves, Suzanne Dimma and Sarah Richardson. To kick off the day, Lynda Reeves and Kelvin Browne, the executive director and CEO of the Gardiner Museum, discussed how to keep trad pieces looking fresh. To illustrate the point, Lynda displayed images from three of Kelvin's homes (shown below) that have been featured in the magazine, from a quaint country stone cottage, to a soaring modern structure that Kelvin designed, to a downsized city apartment. Lynda highlighted the furnishings and accessories that Kelvin used in different homes, then Kelvin shared his top 10 tips on freshening traditional style and finding pieces that will stay with you for decades.
1) Love the stuff you own. Kelvin's first tip was to make sure that you never buy for a "look" as it will never work. Instead, shop for things that you are actually drawn to and excited about.
2) Buy old things. "Some reproductions can cost more than the real thing," Kelvin says, suggesting antique stores, auctions and estate sales as great sources for antique bargains. "Older items will also have a great patina to add personality that you can't get with a brand new item, and antiques are particularly affordable now."
3) Never buy fancy. "Basically, you'll look desperate and no one will be comfortable if you try to decorate to impress."
4) Orderly is good but you should feel as though you can put your feet up. Comfort is key, you want to be able to use your whole house.
5) Personality isn't clutter. "A small number of meaningful items scattered throughout a home is fine, and should be done to create a sense of self in a home."
6) Don't pay for a patterned sofa. Kelvin explained that couches are a big budget item and should be kept neutral to last with changing styles and tastes. Because of their size, Kelvin likens a sofa to a "beached whale" that gobbles up space, and is too big of investment for a pattern you might tire of (on a side note, a well constructed sofa can easily last 20 years, so be prepared to switch up the upholstery to get the most mileage out of it).
7) Furniture doesn't need to be big to be comfortable. Small condos need small furniture. "Mid-century furniture tends to be more compact."
8) A theme pulls everything together. Everyone is mixing periods but editing is required to create a cohesive look.
9) Not everything is a bargain. "Sometimes you need to invest to get something that looks great and will last."
10) Leave time for evolution. "Never furnish a place immediately, see how the pieces you already have work in a new space, and then move things around."
From these tips, Lynda and Kelvin agreed that it is important that a home reflects you. Books, travel souvenirs, art, and family heirlooms all show your personality and should be on view rather than hidden away. Kelvin's final word: "Never be a stranger in your own home."
1. House & Home April 2013, Virginia Macdonald
2. House & Home August 2006, Virginia Macdonald
3. House & Home April 1997, Ted Yarwood
4. House & Home April 2013, Virginia Macdonald
5. House & Home April 2013, Virginia Macdonald
6.House & Home August 2006, Virginia Macdonald
7. House & Home April 2013, Virginia Macdonald
8. House & Home April 1997, Ted Yarwood
9. House & Home August 2006, Virginia Macdonald
10. House & Home April 2013, Virginia Macdonald